When I went to Sumo Bar Kei-chan, it was the first time I had ever been to Kinshicho. I heard that you could see the Skytree from Kinshicho Station, but unfortunately you can’t see it at all from the South Exit! While the main road in front of the station was quite broad, it was relatively quiet. Though apparently it’s usually quite a lively place. Sumo Bar Kei-chan is a 7 minute walk from the station, though to those with no sense of direction, it might be a little hard to find. Japan’s roads are more often than not narrow and busy, so even if I look at a map app while walking there’s a good chance I’ll end up lost somewhere.
The entrance of the restaurant looks like any other restaurant, until you actually get inside and are enveloped into the world of Sumo. That’s hardly surprising considering that this place used to be the Tonozumabeya sumo stable 20 years ago! I was surprised to see the numerous pictures of sumo wrestlers, table of rankings, and signed handprints all decorating the walls. Further inside the restaurant is a Sumo exhibition that you can view at your leisure—what an interesting restaurant! The room of the exhibition used to be a dohyo, the ring sumo wrestlers enter to take on their opponents. The starting lines of the ring you can see in this room are in the same spot the original starting lines were in the actual ring. Patrons of the restaurant can actually try for themselves the warm-up ritual at these starting lines. I thought having that as an activity was a really good idea.
On the walls are cutouts of famous Sumo wrestlers like the 191 cm tall Sho Hakuho and the 202 cm tall Katsunori Kotooshu. You can take a commemorative photo while seeing how you size up with such legendary giants. You can touch the personal effects of the wrestlers that are on display, and you can also try on the yukata that the wrestlers wear. What an incredible place to experience the culture of Sumo! The manager and hostess even explained to us in detail about all the items that are on display. The manager is a former Sumo wrestler who is a whopping 195 cm tall.
I went on today’s trip with two other Senpais. Both speak Japanese really well and are super friendly. Tang-san is a student but runs her own business, and Wu-san is also someone I look up to. When I compare myself to them, I feel inspired to work harder. I really want to be friends with them! I get the feeling that they’ve traveled to many places and experienced many things in Japan. If I ever have the opportunity, I’d like to talk to them and other Senpais about things like Japan and our hometowns.
I didn’t have much interest in Sumo before, but thanks to this experience, started to think Sumo was actually pretty cool. If I have the chance I’d like to go see a real Sumo match someday. I think this kind of restaurant would definitely be a big hit with international tourists. I want everyone to know about this place! The chankonabe I had was so good, and I had a lot of fun.
Giant zabuton floor cushion specially made for sumo wrestlers. It's huge!
We got really friendly with the owner and host and took this picture together.
Sumo Bar Kei-chan
Address: 1-20-7 Mori, Koto ward, Tokyo
Hours：Monday through Saturday 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.（Last order 10:30）
Closed：Sundays, holidays, and other days not designated.
Access：7 minute walk from JR Kinshicho Station South Exit
*For the most up-to-date information, please visit the website listed.